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Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter

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Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 29 Oct 2018, 05:32
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Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter claim that the average per capita income in the country of Kuptala is substantially lower than that in the country of Bahlton. They also claim, however, that whereas poverty is relatively rare in Kuptala, over half the population of Bahlton lives in extreme poverty. At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong.

The argument above is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?


(A) It rejects an empirical claim about the average per capita incomes in the two countries without making any attempt to discredit that claim by offering additional economic evidence.

(B) It treats the vague term “poverty” as though it had a precise and universally accepted meaning.

(C) It overlooks the possibility that the number of people in the two countries who live in poverty could be the same even though the percentages of the two populations that live in poverty differ markedly.

(D) It fails to show that wealth and poverty have the same social significance in Kuptala as in Bahlton.

(E) It does not consider the possibility that incomes in Kuptala, unlike those in Bahlton, might all be very close to the country’s average per capita income.

Originally posted by Vavali on 13 Mar 2008, 09:02.
Last edited by Bunuel on 29 Oct 2018, 05:32, edited 2 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2014, 21:07
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Vavali wrote:
ANswer with explanation please. Thanks

Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter claim that the average per capita income in the country of Kuptala is substantially lower than that in the country of Bahlton. They also claim, however, that whereas poverty is relatively rare in Kuptala, over half the population of Bahlton lives in extreme poverty. At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong.
The argument above is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(A) It rejects an empirical claim about the average per capita incomes in the two countries without making any attempt to discredit that claim by offering additional economic evidence.
(B) It treats the vague term “poverty” as though it had a precise and universally accepted meaning.
(C) It overlooks the possibility that the number of people in the two countries who live in poverty could be the same even though the percentages of the two populations that live in poverty differ markedly.
(D) It fails to show that wealth and poverty have the same social significance in Kuptala as in Bahlton.
(E) It does not consider the possibility that incomes in Kuptala, unlike those in Bahlton, might all be very close to the country’s average per capita income.


Responding to a pm:

Let's understand the argument:

"Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter claim that the average per capita income in the country of Kuptala is substantially lower than that in the country of Bahlton." -
Say average per capita income of K is $10,000
Say average per capita income of B is $40,000

"They also claim, however, that whereas poverty is relatively rare in Kuptala, over half the population of Bahlton lives in extreme poverty. At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong."

This is possible with the numbers given above, right? Say, poverty is defined as < $5000. Say, most people in K earn $10,000. Very few are less than $5000 and very few are above $15000. Say most people lie close to the average.
On the other hand, it is possible that 80% of people in B earn only $1000. Then the rest of the 20% must have very high income i.e. say $150,000. In that case, even though average per capita income would be relatively higher, most of the population would be below poverty line.

"At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong."

This is incorrect conclusion. It is not necessary that at least one of the demographers’ claims must be wrong as we showed above with some numbers.

The argument above is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?
(E) It does not consider the possibility that incomes in Kuptala, unlike those in Bahlton, might all be very close to the country’s average per capita income.

This is exactly what we thought. Incomes in K might be very close to the country's average so that very few people have less than average income (or below poverty line) whereas the gap between in incomes in B might be very high such that many people fall below the poverty line.

Hence (E) is the answer.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2008, 09:45
E

[AI] of [K] - the average per capita income in the country of Kuptala:
[AI] of [B] - the average per capita income in the country of Bahlton:

[P] of [K] - % people living in poverty in the country of Kuptala:
[P] of [B] - % people living in poverty in the country of Bahlton:

1st claim: [AI] of [K] << [AI] of [B]
2st claim: [P] of [K] ~ 0, [P] of [B] = 50%

The explanation of these visible disparity destroy conclusion: "one of the claims must be wrong"

Only E fully explains that: "It does not consider the possibility that incomes in Kuptala, unlike those in Bahlton, might all be very close to the country’s average per capita"
In other words, there are a few billionaires in Bahlton
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2009, 18:37
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Phew!! Tough one bro

Got hung between C and E.

(B) It treats the vague term “poverty” as though it had a precise and universally accepted meaning. -- poverty needs to be defined as same for both the countries. universally sounds broad.
(C) It overlooks the possibility that the number of people in the two countries who live in poverty could be the same even though the percentages of the two populations that live in poverty differ markedly.
(D) It fails to show that wealth and poverty have the same social significance in Kuptala as in Bahlton. - out of scope
(E) It does not consider the possibility that incomes in Kuptala, unlike those in Bahlton, might all be very close to the country’s average per capita income.

IMO E. I think C is wrong because the premise talks about absolute numbers in giving the poverty statistics and not the percentages.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2009, 19:03
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IMO E

People in Kuptala might not be poor because all of them earn the same i.e the national average capita income which is nt the case for Bahlton.
A says that no attempt was made to discredit the claim which is wrng too because evidence of poorer people was provided to contrast the claim.
The others are irrelevant.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2009, 04:37
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E it is

In kuptala's case majority of the population earns, about the same as the national average and in Bahlton's case, there is a huge disparity in the earnings of the population. Only this weakens the conclusion
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2014, 03:40
Can anyone please explain why option A is incorrect.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2014, 21:33
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suhaschan wrote:
Can anyone please explain why option A is incorrect.


Could you first explain why you feel (A) is correct? Is it because of the complicated language? If you come across such an option, you should skip to others to figure out if you have a clear winner in others. They use complicated language only to play with your mind. Don't get bogged down by it. Read it carefully and analyze it, if you must.

The conclusion says: At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong.

The two claims are
Claim 1: average per capita income in Kuptala is substantially lower than that in Bahlton
Claim 2: poverty is relatively rare in Kuptala, over half the population of Bahlton lives in extreme poverty

Option (A) says: "It rejects an empirical claim about the average per capita incomes in the two countries without ..."
Option (A) says: "It rejects claim 1 without ..."

Does the conclusion reject claim 1? No, not at all! It says one of the two must be wrong. It doesn't reject either one.

So option (A) is wrong.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2014, 05:04
can someone please throw light on option "C " :roll: .
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Nov 2014, 21:27
vijaykumar1299 wrote:
can someone please throw light on option "C " :roll: .


The 'actual number of people living in poverty' has no relevance for our argument. We are discussing the percentage of population living in poverty and comparing that (which makes sense) - the 'actual number of people living in poverty' is not a comparable number and doesn't give any information about relative levels of poverty in the two countries. Hence, the actual number of people is irrelevant to our argument.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2016, 07:42
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Lets just say :-

Per Capita Income :- Kuptala<Bahlton

Poverty :- Kuptala<Bahlton

Both can only be true if There is a Huuuuuge Middle Class i.e. people earning the average.

hence option e..

I know everyone says dont bring outside knowledge, but question like these its okay if you try to learn it in a language that you are most comfortable in .
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2018, 01:59
VeritasPrepKarishma
, the source of this question is so dubious.
I think gmat should have a forum for questions whose sources are not quite clear.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2018, 04:04
chesstitans wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma
, the source of this question is so dubious.
I think gmat should have a forum for questions whose sources are not quite clear.


Yes, the source of the question may not be known but the question is not ambiguous.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2018, 08:26
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
chesstitans wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma
, the source of this question is so dubious.
I think gmat should have a forum for questions whose sources are not quite clear.


Yes, the source of the question may not be known but the question is not ambiguous.


hello, I still do not understand why B and C are incorrect?
Pls help me. Thank you.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2018, 10:31
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chesstitans wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
chesstitans wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma
, the source of this question is so dubious.
I think gmat should have a forum for questions whose sources are not quite clear.


Yes, the source of the question may not be known but the question is not ambiguous.


hello, I still do not understand why B and C are incorrect?
Pls help me. Thank you.


First understand what the argument means:

"Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter claim that the average per capita income in the country of Kuptala is substantially lower than that in the country of Bahlton." -
Say average per capita income of K is $10,000
Say average per capita income of B is $40,000

"They also claim, however, that whereas poverty is relatively rare in Kuptala, over half the population of Bahlton lives in extreme poverty. At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong."

This is possible with the numbers given above, right? Say, poverty is defined as < $5000. Say, most people in K earn $10,000. Very few are less than $5000 and very few are above $15000. Say most people lie close to the average.
On the other hand, it is possible that 80% of people in B earn only $1000. Then the rest of the 20% must have very high income i.e. say $150,000. In that case, even though average per capita income would be relatively higher, most of the population would be below poverty line.

"At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong."

This is incorrect conclusion. It is not necessary that at least one of the demographers’ claims must be wrong as we showed above with some numbers.

The argument above is most vulnerable to which of the following criticisms?

(B) It treats the vague term “poverty” as though it had a precise and universally accepted meaning.

It doesn't matter how poverty is defined. We are comparing poverty with extreme poverty and that distinction is obvious. We don't need to know how to define poverty for the argument to make sense. Hence the argument is not vulnerable to this criticism.

(C) It overlooks the possibility that the number of people in the two countries who live in poverty could be the same even though the percentages of the two populations that live in poverty differ markedly.
Even if number of people living in poverty is the same in the two countries, what matters is the percentage which lives in poverty. How poor a country is will be defined by what percentage of its population lives in poverty. Whether 200 people are poor or 2000 makes no sense without knowing the total population. So the data on actual number of people is not relevant. Hence (C) is wrong too.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2018, 08:47
Why is option C wrong?
Say:
Income of people in Kuptala: [50,50,50,50... ,50, 10,10]
Income of people in Bahlton: [200,200,10,10] (Assuming only 4 people in Bahlton for simplicity)

Average income differs substantially as we can see.

Also lets assume that the people who are getting 10 as their income as in poverty.

The number of people in extreme poverty is the same in the two countries, but in Bahlton half the population is in extreme poverty. (Question says more than half, so I should have added another 10. But that doesn't really matter)

So one of claims need not be wrong because - It overlooks the possibility that the number of people in the two countries who live in poverty could be the same even though the percentages of the two populations that live in poverty differ markedly. And this is option C.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 04:32
GMATNinja VeritasKarishma DmitryFarber chetan2u

I selected E . But please correct my reasoning for option B. I was stuck between these two. But i rejected option B on the basis of EXTREME POVERTY.

karishma i'll be using your analysis:
"Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter claim that the average per capita income in the country of Kuptala is substantially lower than that in the country of Bahlton." -
Say average per capita income of K is $10,000
Say average per capita income of B is $40,000

"They also claim, however, that whereas poverty is relatively rare in Kuptala, over half the population of Bahlton lives in extreme poverty. At least one of the demographers’ claims must, therefore, be wrong."

lets consider poverty limit in K = 1000
poverty limit in B = 20,000

now lets alsmot all K's are above 1000 and near to 10000
and most of K are below 20k . But a group of B citizens earn so much that the avg gets to 40k (similar to your reasoning)

the xtreme poverty according to B can be 20k
even in this sitiation BOTH STATEMENTS ARE RIGHT. PLease correct my reasoning
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 16:22
AdityaHongunti The problem with your reasoning is that none of it follows from B, which simply states the argument treats the word "poverty" as if it had a clear meaning. The argument doesn't necessarily do that. The statistics it cites would presumably be based on a specific, clear baseline that simply hasn't been stated. In any case, whatever poverty means, apparently one country has more people in that state than the other country does, so B doesn't really represent a logical flaw in the argument.
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 16:54
DmitryFarber wrote:
AdityaHongunti The problem with your reasoning is that none of it follows from B, which simply states the argument treats the word "poverty" as if it had a clear meaning. The argument doesn't necessarily do that. The statistics it cites would presumably be based on a specific, clear baseline that simply hasn't been stated. In any case, whatever poverty means, apparently one country has more people in that state than the other country does, so B doesn't really represent a logical flaw in the argument.


Thank you for your response,
The analysis I wrote for B is based on my understanding that if the poverty is not exactly defined regarding two countries then the poverty line in both could presumably be anything. The passage hasn't explicitly stated what is the poverty line . This was one of my assumptions along with ans choice E.
Option B states that author does not tell us anything about the actual poverty benchmarks . So there is a plausibility of people regardless of their earnings may still lie above or below the poverty line , and so there is a need of clear understanding of poverty benchmarks.
Apologies to bother you so long, but please clear my doubt.

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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 20:50
But the problem with the argument is not that we don't know where the poverty line is. After all, we don't know anyone's earnings, so if they said "extreme poverty, defined as less than $1.90/day," this would exactly zero to our understanding of the situation. The flaw in the argument is statistical, in that it confuses average and minimum. A country can have high average earnings and high poverty, as long as there are enough rich people pulling the average up. What that bottom line is in terms of actual units of currency makes no difference. (As a side notes, there actually is a widely-accepted definition of extreme poverty (the one I cited), although of course we don't have to know that to get the problem right.)
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Re: Demographers doing research for an international economics newsletter &nbs [#permalink] 29 Oct 2018, 20:50

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